Mission Convergence has succeeded in bringing the administration, civil society and political leaders together, ensuring that welfare schemes and entitlements reach the vulnerable sections of the population in an inclusive and transparent manner, President Pratibha Patil said here on Friday.

Speaking at the Foundation Day celebrations of Mission Convergence at Vigyan Bhavan here, Ms. Patil said: “All other States should emulate this model.”

Ms. Patil lauded the efforts of the Delhi Government and the non-government organisations in ensuring the success of Mission Convergence or “Samajik Suvidha Sangam”.

Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit said: “Mission Convergence is a product of the Bhagidari scheme of the Delhi Government which began nine years ago. The United Nations awarded Bhagidari for being the best government-citizens partnership programme.”

About the Gender Resource Centres and the Suvidha Kendras which are the structures of Mission Convergence, Ms. Dikshit said: “At the GRCs and SKs, people can find out about their entitlements. Pensions for widows, the destitute, senior citizens and the handicapped, benefits of the public distribution system and child education can be availed of from these centres. Individuals are given a card on which their due entitlements are written. Monetary benefits accruing to them are directly transferred to their bank accounts. After undergoing vocational training at GRCs, four to five lakh women earn between Rs.1,800 to Rs.5,000 per month by working from home.”

The Chief Minister said the biggest challenge was begging by young children on the streets.

“We must find a solution for this soon,” she added.

More than 16,000 women have benefited from vocational training, 55,000 women from legal aid and 484 self-help groups had been formed through the GRCs. While 40 GRCs were operational last year, the number went up to 78 this year.

Delhi’s Lieutenant-Governor Tejendra Khanna said: “Initially the onus was on the beneficiaries to gain access to their benefits. Through Mission Convergence, efforts are being made to deliver the knowledge and benefits of the schemes directly to the people.”

Several GRCs, SKs, District Resource Centres, NGOs and community mobilising individuals were awarded for their participation in Mission Convergence.

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